28 Jul [RNAO Action Alert] Ensure the safe reopening of schools, premier!

Dear member,

Your association is hard at work ensuring that COVID-19 infection rates continue to come down and that eligible Ontarians receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

We also know that a professional association has the obligation to do all it can to ensure all health-care workers – including nurses, physicians and others – are fully vaccinated. That’s why RNAO sent a letter to the premier last week and issued an action alert urging the government to mandate all health-care workers be vaccinated (unless there are medical exemptions). Members of the public expect no less.

Today, we took our advocacy one step further to ensure the Ontario government is doing what it must to prepare for the safe reopening of schools. In six weeks, children and youth will return to the classroom. Vaccination rates across the province are promising, however, the reality is that our schools will house the largest group of unvaccinated people in congregate settings. That is why RNAO also issued today a call to Premier Ford. Today’s letter is about the urgency to release a clear and detailed plan to reopen schools safely. In our letter, we recommend the following:

  • Improved ventilation in schools
  • Mandatory indoor masking
  • Smaller class sizes
  • Mandatory vaccination of teachers (unless they have a medical exemption)
  • Permanent employment status for the 625 public health nurse positions working in schools and 50 additional community wellness nurses to serve First Nations communities

Please sign this action alert and share it with your family and networks.

Colleagues, we must do all we can to avoid the harmful effects of an inevitable fourth wave. We can do this by urging science-informed measures. Our CEO’s Blog – Doris’ Blog – keeps you well informed each week and we are here for you.   

Doris Grinspun, RN, MSN, PhD,
LLD(hon), Dr(hc), FAAN, FCAN, O.ONT
Chief Executive Officer 
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO)